The one-act play “The Old Couple” by local playwright Dave Bush has been selected to compete in the annual Theater Association of New York State festival competition to be hosted at Rome Community Theater, Nov. 22-24.
The play features a long-married pair, played by Denise Borek Morganti and Ted Lenio, for whom their apparently idyllic life isn’t quite as perfect as it appears.
Writer and director Bush got the idea for his semi-biographical piece from a line he heard in one of the pieces presented in RCT’s Talent Team, an award-winning theater workshop and performance program he manages for youth and their families.
The Talent Team summer and Christmas seasons provide an opportunity for young people to not just act, but direct, write, and be involved with the technical aspects of theatrical presentation and management.
Morganti, who plays Martha in “The Old Couple,” is a veteran of local theater and TANYS competition, having directed and acted in dozens of award-winning shows with several companies, and was inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame two years ago.
“I like that Dave’s piece stretches the actors’ abilities to juggle several story and emotional lines simultaneously in a relatively short period of time,” said Morganti.
Lenio, who plays Harold, has been selected for three consecutive years to compete at TANYS, having received People’s Choice and Adjudicators’ Discretionary Outstanding Performance, as well as Eastern States Theater Association Outstanding Achievement in Acting Awards.
“I’m grateful that Dave has allowed us to collaborate with him so extensively in shaping our characters to fully illuminate his writing,” added Lenio.
“The Old Couple” was reviewed by TANYS chief adjudicator Paul Nelson at RCT’s Evening of One-Acts at the Polish Home Oct. 18-19.
It then was evaluated by the full TANYS adjudication panel with hundreds of other plays from across the state that were presented throughout the year, to be among just seven other plays selected to compete at the festival.
The other companies competing are from Albany, Auburn, Montrose, Rochester, South Fallsburg and Watertown.
This year’s festival theme is “TANYS is Forever,” referencing the James Bond “Diamonds are Forever” film, this being the 60th anniversary of TANYS.
It features a full weekend of theater, with performances of both short and long plays, discussion sessions with three national adjudicators, afterglow socializing, an awards banquet, annual general membership meeting, and festival awards presentation.
Registration is available online at: http://www.tanys.org/2019-Festival.html